We’ve seen what Dave will be riding at CLIC24, so now it’s my turn. Rather than rely on being offered a suitable tool for the job in the week before the event, I’ve started from scratch and built up a bike that I think fits the bill. In theory this should have allowed me time to get used to it and sort out any minor teething troubles before riding it in anger, but in practise it’s sat in the workshop unridden because the unique seatclamp is in the post. It’ll be here in time, though, I’m sure.
I’ve played pretty safe with the spec, though, so I’m not expecting any problems. The frame is a new Whyte 19 Race, the steeper, lighter evolution of Whyte’s well-regarded hardtail frame. It’s got a lot of features that make it a suitable candidate for a 24-hour event – plenty of mud clearance, dirt-resistant (and non-rattly) full-length cable housings, nice and light – along with hopefully comfort-enhancing touches like the carbon seatstays and non-oversized seatpost.
Components include a full suite of shiny new XTR bits – doing the equivalent of a dozen traditional XC races back-to-back with no maintenance should prove a decent test of the durability of Shimano’s finest. The XTR wheels are UST-compatible, but after a lot of thought I’m running tubes mainly for trouble-free tyre changes if conditions change.
Tempting though it was to run a flyweight XC race fork, I’ve gone for reliability and stuck on a tried-and-tested Magura Phaon coil fork. No possibility of leaky air springs, a comfy ride and adjustable travel so I can relax everything a bit when I get tired. Similarly, the Specialized Avatar saddle is an old favourite and veteran of a couple of 12 hour races although I’ll have a couple of spare seats to hand – a change is as good as a rest and all that.
With that in mind, I’ll have a second bike with me too. Even a comfy hardtail could prove too much for 24 hours, and I’m mindful of the possibility of needing something more tolerant of rider error during the later stages of the event and particularly in the middle of the night. The combination of poor visibility and tired pilot has ended quite a few 24-hour efforts. So there’s also a VP4-SL from Endorfin ready to go.
And those all-important extras? I’ll be lighting my way overnight with a NiteRider MOAB system, chosen for its extreme longevity – MOAB stands for Mother Of All Batteries, and even on the full-power mode the Li-ion pack will drive the HID lamp for seven hours. Knock it down a couple of notches and the run time extends to over eleven, which should be more than ample.
A selection of energy products from Torq (plus a selection of shopping from the supermarket) will provide the fuel. Really it’s just a question of eating and pedalling…